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1881 Census

Census information gives us a unique snapshot of history every ten years, and this section examines some of the things we can learn about Hartford in 1881. (The 1881, 1901 and 1911 censuses are the most accessible as they are now available online. The 1921 census data will not be released to the public until 2021 as there is a 100 year period before personal information is made available)

The raw facts, gathered for statistical purposes, offer an interesting insight into the way people lived and a way of life far removed from the present day. For instance, in Cheshire at this time approximately 30% of females in employment were domestic servants. In the case of Hartford it was 31% of the working population (male and female combined).

Large Houses and Prominent People:

Information on prominent local people appears under their residence in "Large Houses" with a cross reference list provided.

Hartford Manor

Hartford Manor was built approx 400 years ago and was originally a farmhouse that was extended several times. It is currently the headquarters of Holidaybreak plc.

This family of four people employed seven servants. There is a striking difference between William's age and that of his, presumably, second wife - 30 years!

William W BlakeHeadMMale63Burslem, StaffordshireSolicitor
Edith BlakeWifeMFemale33Mobberley, CheshireSolicitor
Eliza M SpensDaughterMFemale30Northwich, CheshireOfficers Wife
Maud E SpensGrand DaughterUFemale10CanterburyOfficers Dau
Sarah AnkersServantUFemale72Harthill, CheshireMaid
George LaurieServantWMale50ScotlandButler
Ann ThomasServantUFemale34Chester, CheshireCook
Elizabeth StrettonServantUFemale28Amington, WarwickshireLaundry Maid
Eleanor HollisServantUFemale27Blithfield, StaffordshireHouse Maid
Elizabeth WorthingtonServantUFemale20Mobberley, CheshireKitchen Maid
Maria FoxServantUFemale28Dartmouth, DevonNurse


This family of two people employed six servants.

James RoydsHeadMMale59CheshireMagistrate for Cheshire
MA Clergyman of the Church of England
Isabella E RoydsWifeMFemale37Isle of Wight
John SampsonServantUMale43Gt Sankey, Lancashire, CheshireButler Dom
Mary BeetonServantUFemale61Batley, StaffordHousekeeper
Mary J ArmishawServantUFemale25Aston, StaffordCook Domestic
Josephine NisoletServantUFemale22Geneva, SwitzerlandLadies Maid Domestic
Sarah A RoweServantUFemale26Isle of WightHousemaid Domestic
Elizabeth A BoothServantUFemale17Hartford, CheshireKitchen Maid Domestic

Bagshaw's Directory of 1850 shows the Rev. James Royds jun. to be incumbent of the curacy of St Johns church in Hartford and living in "Woodlands" with his father James Royds Esquire. In 1892 the house was still in the possession of the Royds family with Mrs James Royds in residence (presumably her husband had died) but by 1914 had passed into the hands of Henry Bratt JP.

Sandiway House (Sandiway Bank)

Mr John Bolton Littledale was a wealthy Cheshire businessman living at Sandiway Bank (now Sandiway House). In 1881 this house was part of Weaverham cum Milton rather than its present day incorporation into Hartford and the house and lodge were much more isolated. The census information is interesting:-

John B LittledaleHeadMMale58Liverpool, LancashireRetired Broker
Mary LittledaleWifeMFemale35Manchester, Lancashire
Minitte LittledaleDaughterUFemale14Weaverham, CheshireScholar
Edith M LittledaleDaughterUFemale10Weaverham, CheshireScholar
Mary LittledaleDaughterUFemale5Weaverham, CheshireScholar
Rosa L WoodyattVisitorUFemale14Over, CheshireScholar
Mary HobsonGovernessUFemale48Birmingham HeathGoverness
Mary Ann WilsonServantUFemale26Crook, WestmorlandLadies Maid
Ann BizbyServantUFemale31Loughton, YorkshireCook
Alice HignettServantUFemale22Weaverham, CheshireKitchenmaid
Mary ChattertonServantUFemale22Lower Bebbington, CheshireHousemaid
Francis TufteyServantUFemale30Prestnell, LeicestershireHousemaid

and in the Lodge:-

James GregoryHeadMMale61Little Budworth, CheshireButler
Margaret GregoryWifeMFemale71Latham, LancashireButlers Wife

This family of five people employed seven servants. There is a striking difference between John's age and that of his wife - 23 years! He died in 1889 at the age of 66 and is buried in Hartford churchyard where a window at the west end of the church was given by his friends and dedicated to his memory.

The House was subsequently owned by Sir John Brunner Bt who was MP for Northwich from 1910 to 1918 - he was the son of the founder of Brunner Mond. It was then empty for some time before being used as the Mid Cheshire Electricity Board headquarters, then by Leonard Fairclough (builders) and then as offices for AMEC plc. until 2009 when it passed back into private hands.

Occupations in Hartford from the 1881 Census

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the census data is an analysis of how people made their living - their trades and professions.

In the case of Hartford it shows the influence of the local salt trade, the railway and the River Weaver together with a clear view of how different society was then - particularly the number of people employed as domestic servants (31% of the working population). It is also interesting to note that there were at least 72 people directly involved with the care or use of horses.

In the 1881 census there were 1455 people in Hartford on the night of the census (including 10 visitors) - of these 208 were shown as wives, 372 were scholars, 116 infants and 24 adults without an occupation (usually part of the extended family - old widowed parents or young dependents over school age) - although obviously some wives would have worked with their husbands e.g. publican's wife.

It should be borne in mind that the village boundaries were not exactly the same as they are today.

Here is a breakdown of those people's occupations where it was stated in the census - it was common practice to give a wife the same occupation as her husband and so these have been omitted from the figures.

Domestic Servants
Coachman15Lady's Maid1
Groom8Laundry Maid1
Cook18Kitchen Maid3
Housekeeper13House Maid14
Gardener27Domestic Servant89
Footman2Page Boy2
Unemployed Domestic Servants10Companion2
Station Master1Goods Clerk1
Signalman1Railway Servant1
Pointsman2Railway Porter5
Booking Clerk1Carter Agent1
River Weaver
Bargeman Captain1Mate1
Engine Fitter1Engine Driver2
Ship Carpenter3Waterman5
Lock Tenter2Seaman Stoker1
Salt Trade
Salt Proprietor2Rock Salt Miner1
Chemical Labourer14Saltworks Labourer9
Salt Boiler19Chemist1
Saddler3Groom (Non Domestic)38
Farmer9General Labourer31
Agricultural Labourer27Staymaker1
Builder's Labourer16Laundress19
Boot and Shoemaker6Office Boy3
Auctioneer1Auctioneer's Clerk2
Brickyard Labourer6Dressmaker18
Bricklayer9Errand Boy3
Coach Painter1Wheelwright3
Clerk7Builder's Agent1
Hosiery and Smallware Dealer1Post Carrier3
Leather Dresser1Cotton Spinner1
Barmaid2Cattle Dealer and Butcher5
Brewers Agent1Butcher1
Property Owner2Bank Manager1
Wholesale Grocer2Bank Cashier1
Sherrif's Officer1Police Officer1
Teacher11Sawyer and Beerhouse Keeper1
Beerhouse Keeper2Painter4
Lodginghouse Keeper1Cooper3
Hotel Keeper1Draper3
Ironmonger11Coal Merchant2
Blacksmith8Coalyard Labourer2
Mantle Maker1Fishmonger1
Publican1Cotton Manufacturer1
Ironworks Labourer1Nurseryman2
Iron Moulder2Tinplate Worker1
Whitesmith and Brazer1Striker in Smithy1
Riveter at Iron Works1Milliner1
Baker1Engine Driver2
Baker's Boy1Solicitor3
Sawyer1Independent Means1
Tile Cutter1Agent2
Carpenter1Provision Dealer3
Carrier2Timber Merchant and Builder2
Plumber3Timber Yard Labourer2
Builder's Manager1Army Captain1
Cotton Broker2Gentleman3
Sailor Retired1Surgeon2
Ship Builder1Commission Agent1
Clergyman2Farm Bailiff2
Pensioner Chelsea2Magistrate2